Commenting on Comments and Thanking Those Who Do

I’m getting quite close to my 100th post. (Oooo, my stomach just did a little flip-flop in anticipation. Yours too?) And many of you out there celebrate your 100th, 500th or 1000th (Joey!) post. But what about those comments? When are they recognized? Where would we be without comments on our musings?

One of the things I did not anticipate enjoying as much as I do about blogging is the comments. Both giving and receiving (wink, wink). There are some days when I sit down at the computer, fully anticipating to write 7 or 8 prolific posts, but instead spend 3 hours reading your blogs and commenting on them. Then I remember why I sat down to the computer in the first place, click ‘new post’ and I got nothin’. Oh sure, I’ve blamed my crazy life but sometimes I have no one to blame but myself. You people are just too interesting. You suck the great ideas right outta me.

But the dialog that comments provide is invaluable.

And I’ve struggled with how to handle comments from day one. First, I was mostly a lurker. Reading your blogs. Skipping along to the next. Sometimes I just had nothing to say, other times I was intimidated by the amazing comments left by others.

After I dipped my toe in and started to comment I took the full plunge and became a comment whore. I’d comment on anything and everything. I’d spend more time commenting than I would creating a new post. It became exhausting. But I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. If they left a comment on my blog, I left a comment on theirs. If they visited my blog and I could see their blog address on my limited stats keeper here on free WordPress, I’d go to their blog and comment. Even with blogs who didn’t know I existed I would pressure myself to leave a comment, any kind of comment, even if I had nothing to say. I imagined they could see (because they had super-high-powered-stats-keepers-that-could-track-me-down-through-tiny-internet-wires) that I had visited and dared not to let them know I had stopped by.

And some of you demand that people comment. (guilt) And some of you ask questions to encourage comments. (more guilt) And some have pictures and quotes and diagrams and recipes and comics and videos and links to other great bloggers and put sooooo much effort into one little post. (even more guilt….hmmmm, I’m a better Catholic than I thought I was.)

So I gave up. I comment when I have something to say. What a revelation that was! My empty comments weren’t getting me anywhere except behind in my writing and making me feel horrible that I was creating vapid, transparent snippets that clutter up your pages.

Which brings me to the comments I receive here…Oops…..That didn’t come out right – it was the timing. Let me try that again…..

I am so thankful for the comments I receive here. Truly! It’s nice to know that I touch people, amuse people or stop and make them re-think. Oh sure, I receive my fair share of spam. Or thinly veiled comments that reek of ‘I’m only commenting because I want you to visit me at my blog.’ But honestly, those are far and few between. I have surrounded myself in Bloggy World (much as I have in the Real World) with wonderful, interesting, thoughtful people. What an amazing extension of my real life this writing has become and I have you all to thank.

Which leads me to……..my 1000th comment! (Party streamers, confetti and cake for all!)

My blog has received its 1000th comment from one of you, dear readers. Will Joe from Meech and Joe please stand up? Let’s give him a hand everyone! Help me to thank him and all of you for commenting here over the past 4 months! I’ve enjoyed hearing from you and commenting on your blogs. Here’s to continuing our conversations together!  

( Unknown Mami has created an interesting meme along this subject, I Comment Therefore I Am. Worth checking out!)

23 Comments

Filed under Observations

23 responses to “Commenting on Comments and Thanking Those Who Do

  1. Steven Harris

    Made me laugh because it is true, the whole complicated process of ‘I ought to comment because they said something’. But i think it’s like conversation too. Sometimes we listen and sometimes we contribute.

    • And truth be told, it was your blog that actually moved me beyond comment gluttony (as Kristen so eloquently put it – much better than my crass term!) into engaging in real conversation. I found with your posts and some others that it was easy to comment, words came spilling forth. I never struggled to have something to say and I didn’t feel pressured to do so. So, thanks for inadvertently pushing me toward my revelation!

      • Steven Harris

        Thank you too, as all conversations require that back and forth action of thoughts and ideas. Keeps the brain alive and the fingers a-tapping on the keys.

  2. I love this post for a self-centered reason: I see myself reflected in it. Thank you for diagramming my own comment journey so eloquently, which at this point has moved on from lurking, but is perhaps stalled in comment gluttony. So may this comment represent for me the first in the stage of, as Steven deemed it, conversation: “sometimes we listen and sometimes we contribute.”

    • I love the way you put it, “comment gluttony.” Thanks for joining OUR conversation. Here’s to many more!

      • I spent much of the day yesterday thinking about this post and the comments that followed. I’m using it to help me formulate a new comment-leaving grand strategy – how to think about when to speak and when to remain quiet in the noise.

        As Aidan put it, here’s to more “commentary on commentary”!

  3. What a creative post and a great way to thank people. I look forward to your 100th posting. Are you going with the blog tradition of the 100 things list?

    PS-Your cat pic is hilarious!

  4. Beautifully written! I agree with you completly. I recently got rid of a lot of blogs on my google reader that I had added just because they had commented on my blog. I felt guilty (I’m Catholic too) and felt I needed to be a loyal reader and commenter of everyone who commented on my blog. I think I’ve finally realized what you said is true. Comment when you have something to say and read blogs you like!

  5. Raising my hand in recognition…I, too, suffer from comment guilt. And I’m not even Catholic! It’s truly a difficult balance–one I struggle with daily.

    I can’t believe you know how many comments you’ve gotten! That’s so…organized!

  6. As always, a thoughtful, well-articulated post. And relevant. Oh so relevant. I find myself thinking about comments a lot. Too much. Way too much. After I hit publish, I sit there and wait, hungry for comments. I want people to say something. Anything. I have been asking myself why lately (it’s all about the whys). Why do I want comments? Why do I need them? Because I need the affirmation? Because it makes me look better? Because I am trying to start a conversation and conversations with myself (yes, I have them. All the time.) are not the same.

    And then. Then there is the commenting on others’ words and ideas and stories. I am with you. I will comment when I have something to say, when someone’s words have sparked something in me.

    Commentary on commentary? I love this. I think I will have to blog about this soon.

    Cheers to comments and conversations!

  7. I think I wrote somewhere earlier that when it comes to WordPress, comments are the coin of the realm. And like you, I love giving and receiving them.

    I worry about commenting too much, though. Sometimes I start one and the abort it. “That one just wasn’t good enough to justify its existence,” I think. “I hope the blogger will understand.”

    I also try not to turn comments into “me me me” posts. Sometimes an anecdote from my past might be interesting, but usually it’s not.

    For me I try to have something suitably pithy before I click submit. Ooops, just failed again. 🙂

    And congrats on the big 1k!

  8. I’ve been blogging for less than a year now, so I’m pretty sure I’m still stuck in comment whoredom. I’ve never added a blog to my list that I don’t really like, though — I know too well how much time they’re going to suck out of my day (I mean that in the nicest possible way), so I’m very discerning :). I have started trying not to comment unless I really have something to say, unless there aren’t many comments, because I know as a new blogger with a tiny readership that I turn cartwheels over every comment, long, short, inscrutable (‘turnips’, would do it for me). I was even okay with the one advertising cheap Viagra. Okay, not really (I don’t think they read the post).

  9. Great post! And it’s so true! Heck, I feel so guilty that I have all these new readers but haven’t found the time to check them out and read them. Still waiting on that 32 hr day. And I never read before I write because I get blown away by other people’s posts, and then like you, I’ve got nothing.

  10. Ha, you are nearly catching up with me!! Thanks for the mention.

    My biggest issue is commenting on the comments I receive. I find that if I respond to every comment that’s been left on my blog I have no time to write anything new.

    If I visit someone elses blog I do try to make an effort to leave a comment, because at least the person knows I’ve read their post. I don’t always find it easy I sometimes find myself sayng “Lovely photo” and that’s it.

    Occasionally I’ll go to a blog and think that I really have nothing in common with that person and as kind as it was of them to come and comment on my blog, the feeling is probably mutual! 😀

  11. Congrats on all of it!
    That’s a lot of comments girl.
    Who wouldn’t want to comment for you; you always say the sweetest things!

  12. Joe

    Wooooooooo! I am now standing up via the internet. Thanks for the shout out. And you’re welcome for commenting on your blog, although I really don’t deserve the thanks. I feel like I just hit a blog lottery.

    This is an interesting topic. The only blog I had been reading was dooce.com, and I had been reading for years until recently, I clicked on a link on her site which led me to daddyscratches.com. Then I started clicking on his comments and reading those people’s blogs, and it just grew from there. I then started my own, and this journey has led me to places like this one, and now I can’t get enough.

    Personally I comment about 50% of the time (in terms of total posts read). Like people above me have said, I’ll comment when I have something to “contribute”. I read one blog, for example, that is half personal and half about crafts. I read the craft posts when I can, but don’t comment because I have nothing of value to add.

    As usual, you have made me think about my past and future actions. Maybe I’ll alter the way I comment. Or post.

  13. I love the Catholic guilt trip as I have been there. But then again, returning the favor of some comments have led me to some great blogs that I now read daily with anticipation and joy. I suppose in the end, it is like you state that eventually you become comfortable in what you can offer that is real and what you cannot. Since I only get to read/comment mostly after hours I find it hard to keep up. I probably lost those random readers here and there that are just wishing for the favor to be returned, but I can’t wallow in that. My blogging (both posting and commenting) HAS to be fun, meaningful and real. It is all I have time for in the end. I love that you can openly put it out there at the same time show appreciation for your readers! Yeah Joe!

    And congrats to you on your 100th post and cheers to 100 more!

  14. submom

    Congratulations for the 1000th comment! Yeah! LOL at when you say you are a comment whore. We love nothing else! 😉

  15. Pingback: An update from the shouter « Shouts from the Abyss

  16. Pingback: 1,000 comments! « Shouts from the Abyss

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